Giving Myself a Break
I recall a quote I saw floating around Pinterest that was something to the effect of:
Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “It’s not a priority.
The idea was to re-frame why some things get pushed to the bottom of the list. Laundry not done? “It’s not a priority.” Probably true. Probably I prioritized many, many things above laundry.
But what I’m facing now is truly a version of “I don’t have time.”
I cannot replace anything in my day with “It’s not a priority” and find that I can push it to the back burner. Unfortunately, solving for x in this equation means that writing is the sacrifice in the fight against time. Writing is my therapy, my outlet, my energy, and my goals — but it is not my livelihood, a requirement of parenting, or a viable tradeoff for sleep.
This week, for example, what could I give up in exchange for writing? My paying job has substantial demands on my brainpower and skill set right now, the timing of which is outside of my control. I have three kids going in opposite directions during the day — camp and daycare — that involve lengthy drop-off and pickup routines (if only writing while driving were possible…) I am working out the details of some major home renovations and while the time and attention involved are stressful, we need to move forward in order to alleviate other burdens in our lives.
My husband has been struggling with anxiety for the past few months and while he is receiving help in the form of therapy and medication, additional responsibilities are falling to me so that he can focus on his mental health. I have an evening meeting of my support group for bereaved parents and a meeting with my own individual therapist — both necessary for my own mental health. And I have a haircut scheduled for Friday afternoon, with the last one being far too long ago.
Not to mention all of the recurring household tasks, like paying bills, aforementioned laundry, yard work, meals, etc.
I sneak in writing, usually in the morning while I feed my baby daughter breakfast before anyone else in the house wakes. She munches on Cheerios and fruit while I collect my writing…